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Designing for the Macbook’s Retina Displays: Is Apple forcing our hand?

Oct 16 2012

Apple is always pushing boundaries when it comes to the next best thing. With the retina display on the new iPad (iPad 3?), it seemed like they were really on to something. The text was crisp, the images were beautiful and the rendering of graphics was seamless. Never before had a mobile device looked so good.

Enter the new line of Apple computers.

On a mobile device, the retina display makes sense because of the smaller screen. But try looking at your pretty new website on a new Macbook with retina. It’s tiny. That’s because they have packed twice the amount of pixels into the same amount of space. Your 960 pixel-wide website is now nearly illegible.

This presents some challenges for web designers. Sure, we can start designing websites with images that are twice as large, but that makes loading times twice as long. Not to mention the amount of memory those big files will eat up on your server. Not only will designing new sites be trickier, but what about all of those past clients who love their website until they open it up on a new Macbook or iMac? I can imagine several designers have received emails from clients wondering why their website looks like a sidebar, and wondering how fast can it be updated.

Below are a couple of blog links that address the new retina display issues:

http://designshack.net/articles/graphics/designing-on-a-retina-screen-my-thoughts-on-the-retina-macbook-pro/

http://thenextweb.com/dd/2012/06/12/the-web-is-going-to-look-hideous-on-the-new-retina-macbook-pro/

What are the steps, if any, that you and your team are taking to prepare for a retina display world?

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